15 Relaxation Techniques to Aid Porn Addiction Recovery

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relax

Are you aware of the factors that immediately precede your entry into the “sex addiction cycle” with it’s preoccupation, fantasies, ritualization, “erotic haze” and ultimately, sexual acting out?

The closer you get to the end of the cycle, for instance, immersion in the “erotic haze”, the harder it is to extricate yourself from the irresistible allure of acting out. The more you can do to work on yourself at the beginning of the cycle, the greater the chances are that you can block yourself from having compulsive sex on the Internet.

So what is it, precisely, that starts it off? Some therapists say it is a “pain event” or a “toxic state”. I believe that, whatever your particular trigger is, underlying the reason you reach for your pornography addiction is the experience of anxiety. If it’s not anxiety that you feel directly, it’s some form of it or it’s anxiety about experiencing certain feeling states – dread, fear, stress, racing-mind, physical discomfort, boredom, loneliness, marital conflict, etc.

It is my firm belief that your sexual recovery plan should include 20 minutes a day of deep relaxation.

Relaxation exercises not only alleviates anxiety, it makes you less reactive so you can think clearly about the consequences of your behavior.

Becoming sexually sober is not easy. Professionals in the alcoholism field talk about PAW (Post Acute Withdrawal) and they say the symptoms can last for up to a year for the substances to truly leave the body and mind. I don’t think it takes that long for sex addicts, but you’ll definitely go through a withdrawal period as your brain chemicals begin to settle in to homeostasis.

For the newly recovering addict, stress sensitivity can result in difficulty in managing stress and can be the most confusing and aggravating part of post acute withdrawal for many PAW sufferers. You will learn that it is common for recovering people to often be unable to distinguish between low-stress situations and high-stress situations.

To complicate things further, all of the other symptoms of post acute withdrawal become worse during times of high stress. You may feel stressful in situations that ordinarily would not bother you and in addition, experience even more stress when you overreact. You may do things that are completely inappropriate for the situation, so much so that later on you may wonder why they reacted so strongly.

When things happen that require two units of emotional reaction, you react with ten. It is like holding the “times” key down on a calculator. You may find yourself becoming angry over what may later seem to have been a trivial matter.

You may feel more anxious or excited than you have reason to be when you suffer from the symptoms of PAW in addiction recovery.
When this overreaction puts more stress on the nervous systems than it can handle, there is an emotional shutdown. If this happens to you, you become emotionally numb, unable to feel anything. And even when you know you should feel something, you do not. You may swing from one mood to another without knowing why.

Despair Not!

There are many relaxation techniques available to you to alleviate stress.

And there are other reasons you should do a deep-relaxation technique for 20-minutes a day besides as an aid in addiction recovery.

Medical research shows that consistent deep relaxation has surprising health benefits such as strengthening the immune system, diabetics who no longer need insulin, widens respiratory passages in asthmatics, lowers blood pressure, cholesterol levels and helps cardiovascular problems, alleviates chronic pain, reduces insomnia, and improves blood flow to the heart.
http://www.nytimes.com/1986/05/13/science/relaxation-surprising-benefits-detected.html

Your best friend when cravings arise is right beneath your nostrils! No need to pick up a substance or a destructive sexual behavior to feel better. If you feel a sexual craving, immediately sit down and take 10 deep breaths from the diaphragm. Do NOT breath from your shoulders which produces the kind of breathe flow we use when we’re anxious.

Simple deep breathing will relax your body and clear your mind so you can think rationally about the consequences of your behavior. While you’re breathing, try to visualize those consequences. How did you feel after your last blow-out? Was it truly worth the effort? Try to bring up, visceral, the shame, self-loathing and emptiness. Now visualize your wife and draw up warm and loving feelings.

Deep breathing and visualization are only two of the many, many types of relaxation techniques.

I’ve provided a list and an accompanying link for 15 different ways to chill out. Try one. Not for you? Try another. But DO DO it. The benefits are incredible.

Links

Deep Relaxation Hypnosis Tapes 
I put these first because they’re my personal favorites. I’m trained in Hypnosis so I’m a tough customer when it comes to other hypnotherapists. But these guys are right on the money. And they’re BRITS, so the voices just take you away from your body and your mind where there’s really deep relaxation. I listen to one daily and the results are remarkable. My favorites are: “Body Scan”, “Quiet Mind” and “7-11 Breathing”. DO NOT MISS the ones on sex and porn addiction!
http://www.hypnosisdownloads.com

The Use of Meditation in Sexual Recovery
http://sextreatment.com/how-to-use-mindfulness-meditation-in-recovery-from-sex-addiction (This is my article, how could I leave it out?)

The Relaxation Response – Dr. Herbert Benson, in 1960, developed a program for deep relaxation that illicit a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional response to stress (e.g. decreases in heart rate, blood pressure, rate of breathing and muscle tension. His book, “The Relaxation Response” (available at Amazon) was HUGE. To my mind, it’s a simplified version of Buddhist meditation, but it seemed to be packaged in a way that appealed to folks.
http://www.massgeneral.org/bhi/basics/rr.aspx (interview and video)

Mindfulness meditation instructions
www.marc.ncla.edu/body.cfm?ID=22
I was studying mindfulness meditation back in 1978. Based in Buddhism, but without all the “stuff”, it teaches you to be present in each moment. The idea is to focus attention on what’s happening now and accept it with impartiality, or without judgment. Times when I’ve kept a regular practice are times I’ve been able to experience ecstasy while washing the bathroom floor!

Mindfulness practice is particularly good for sex addicts who tend to fantasize and be preoccupied with things that may never occur. This practice helps you keep your feet on the ground and find serenity in the simplicity of living.

Contemplative Prayer
www.contemplativeprayer.net/
For our Christian friends.

Relaxation Music
www.wholeperson.com.

Deep Breathing Exercises 
http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-breathing-exercises-for-relaxation

Creative Visualization MP3 Download
mp3skull.com/mp3/creative visualization.html

15-minute beginner’s yoga routine
www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyqHraoVSDA

Deep Tissue Massage
http://www.webmdlance/massage-therapy-styles-and-health-.com/babenefits

Tai-chi for Beginners
www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNWPk6tYoUM

Martial Arts
www.wimp.com/martialarts/ (Video)

Biofeedback/Neurofeedback
www.mayoclinic.com/health/biofeedback/MY01072

Hiking/Walking
http://www.americanhiking.org/HikingResources/HealthBenefits/

Addiction-Recovery Stress Management

http://www.rightstep.com/programs/alcohol-drug-rehab-intensive-outpatient-care/intensive-outpatient-classes-session-20/reducing-stress-in-addiction-recovery-through-relaxation.php#ixzz2KQYIZBLj

As if I haven’t told you enough benefits of daily relaxation, there are others: improved focus and ability to concentrate; lack of lethargy; reduced irritability; better moods; better sleep; improved thinking; more creative problem solving; slows again; as an act of self-care, increases self-esteem. A study in “Neuroimage” (May 2011) says conclusively that deep meditation increases brain connectivity and alters the body at a fundamental level leading to better memory, self-awareness and compassion.

Now you have the facts. Your job is to decide which fit you best and start using one. Why not today? You will be richly rewarded with better health, greater peace of mind, a smoother, more joyful course through life. Living like this, who wants to throw a monkey-wrench of a destructive sexual act into the works??!!

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